Negate What You Ate: Pizza

By , By Karen Ansel, RD, of Woman's Day

Oh, no! You just had 830 calories, not to mention 46 grams of fat and 2,110 mg of sodium!

To burn it off, you’ll have to:

SHOP for 5 hours and 8 minutes
BIKE for 3 hours and 5 minutes
COOK for 4 hours and 38 minutes
WALK for 2 hours and 48 minutes
DO JUMPING JACKS for 1 hour and 31 minutes

Next time, make it heathier:

Pick just one meat.

The over-the-top combo of pepperoni, ground beef and ham is why this pizza packs so many calories in just 6 inches. If you absolutely want meat, ham is the way to go to cut back on calories and sodium. You'll save 225 calories, 21 grams of fat and 850 mg of sodium.

Or use the mushroom trick.

To satisfy a meat craving, order mushrooms instead. These veggies will deliver the same meaty texture. You'll save 300 calories, 22 grams of fat and 817 mg of sodium.

Think thin (crust).

Thick crusts are always higher in calories. The thinner, the better. You'll save 100 calories, 4 grams of fat and 60 mg of sodium.

Go easy on the cheese.

Ask for half the cheese, or order a pizza with just sauce and sprinkle on 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese. You’ll still get that cheesy taste minus the calories and fat. You'll save 72 calories, 6 grams fat and 234 mg of sodium.

Stick with veggies.

This slashes almost 300 calories, plus it cuts the fat grams in half and the sodium content by about 40%. You'll save 280 calories, 26 grams of fat and 920 mg of sodium.

Eat salad first.

Fill up on greens and you’ll be more likely to eat fewer slices.

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How do you slim down your pizza? Do you use the above listed ideas? Do you have other tricks to help make your pizza healthier?
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Anybody know how to log something like eating a slice of pizza, but leaving out the dry crust, or blotting off the excess grease on a paper towel on the nutrition tracker? I can ADD stuff, but can't seem to take it off. Report
We tried the 'single meat' suggestion and got ham and mushroom on a super thin New York Style crust. We skipped more carbs/cals by eating only the part with sauce and topping and leaving the 'crusty' crust on the outside edge. We cut fat, calories, AND carbs and saved ourselves some money in the bargin. :) Report
cauliflower crust? cool! Report
Cauliflower Crust is the key!, uncured pepperoni (if I have meat) mushrooms, onions, homemade pizza sauce! Fresh Mozzarella (if you're gonna do pizza, you gotta have good cheese (1/4 cup) Report
we[stopped buying pizza from shops because they just made us sick heavy and boated. Any time we feel its pizza time e make it ourselves from scratch. Its quick and easy, on thin wholemeal base. Report
We order Papa Murphy's Vegetarian Delite. It has a thin crust and lots of vegetables. It was hard to give up the pepperoni, but now I do not even miss it! Report
The bakery at my grocery store will make me whole wheat pizza dough, i just have to call in the beginning of the day and it's ready and waiting when i get to the store. I use fresh tomatoes i have put in the blender and season myself for the sauce and mushrooms and fresh chopped garlic is AWESOME! This way we all can make our own pizzas which is fun for the family and i know what is going in my body plus it doesn't cost me $23 for a large pizza! Report
Make it at home! You control what you eat when you choose to make it yourself. Take 1 raw biscuit dough slice, 1 tbsp of tomato paste+seasoning+water, a 1/4 cup of cheese, add mushrooms, peppers, black olives! There you have a personal pizza that comes in UNDER 210 calories that can be enjoyed, not regretted! If you absolutely have to have that pepperoni taste, take just one slice and chop it up with a sharp knife - sprinkle the shreds on the pizza. That trick adds perhaps 15 calories, but packs great pepperoni taste! Pair it up with a salad and low/no cal dressing for a delicious lunch or super supper! Report
I feel best if I keep meals small mostly. So a slice of pizza actually makes a good small meal for me. Usually cheese pizza slices with or without veggies are about 250 to 350 calories, sometimes less (and sometimes more, I suppose). Nothing prevents me from having a slice several times a day if I want .... :) But spacing out the slices by about 2 hours works fine when I'm in a pizza mood. By 2 hours later, though, I'm likely to want something else. I actually pack up slices of baked pizza in aluminum foil before I eat any of it, and put the slices in the freezer so I can have them any time (only human in the house). I usually cut up a 12" pizza into 8 slices, since the 6 slices recommended on many packages is higher math. That also will bring the slices down to a better "small meal" size for me. Anyway, pizza is good food. If you're tracking your incoming and outgoing calories, just record it like any other food and don't worry. Enjoy! Report
I think people are missing the point here. This is merely a tiny wake up call to those of us who indulge in that extra topping pizza to make wiser choices when we eat. I LOVE pizza and make easy adjustments so I can have theflavor without extra calories. I make zucchini boats by slicing the zucchini in half length wise, then scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and fresh garlic. Then spread some pizza sauce on it, top with turkey pepperoni and sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. Top with a tiny bit of bread crumbs and more olive oil. Bake at 350 for about a half hour. I am completely satisfied with this delicious treat. -Robyn, writer for the blog Tips From the Heart
Ps. I lost almost 80 pounds with sparkpeople, eating pizza almost once a week. It's called moderation people. :) Report
We don't order pizza all that often, but if we do, I order 1/2 with mushrooms and peppers so I don't have all the meat. We also order thin crust or hand tossed. Report
I love pizza!! Never was a meatlovers type......cheese pizza is just fine. I've always ate two slices so that's not a problem. The problem is the crust. Not a big fan of wheat crust, tortilla, or flatbread. I'm a thick crust or hand tossed type of girl. I finally made a homemade pizza with whole wheat crust and thin. On the scale of 1-10(1really bad and 10 really good), I gave my crust a 6. Only because it was too thin and crispy for me. Anywho, I think I will stick with my regular workout routine since it's been doing fine by me. Report
Well, it doesn't take much when the average slice of pi is about 230 or so calories and 15 g of fat. Imagine eating 3 or 4 pieces, Kaboom!

Oh, there is no way I could do jumping jacks for 1 1/2 hrs!!!!

rumbamel Report
There's no way on earth these calorie-burned counts are accurate. Are you kidding me?! Source, plz. Report
Don't forget whole grain pizza crust for extra fiber - more calories, but they are good calories.

A 3+ hour bike ride - I'm in!! Report
I simply love pizza and am starting to make my own. I enjoy pizza with mushroom, light cheese and onions. If I order out, I get a thin crust. I do treat myself from time to time....I am so glad that gone are my days of eating five slices of stuffed crust meal lover's in one setting...then turning around and having a few more slices for breakfast. Report
Part of the reason why we put a pizza stone on our wedding registry was so my husband and I could make home-made pizzas at home. So much better for us that way. And instead of using regular ol' mushrooms, try shiitakes. They really do have this wonderful meaty taste and are so filling! Report
I really didn't take this blog to mean that eating pizza must be "punished" by hours of exercise. How I choose to allocate my "calorie budget" for the day is not much different from how I make my financial decisions. If I decide to splurge on a trip or fancy dress or whatever, I consider two things: how long did I have to work to earn the money for the indulgence and what other things could I spend the money on. If it's worth it to me, then I'll do it. If I decide the money could go for things more useful, then I won't indulge. Pizza I consider a fun indulgence, but like all indulgences it should be limited, planned for, and occasional. But certainly it should be enjoyed guilt free! Report
When we go for pizza, DH and I split a slice of sausage pizza (no extra cheese) and then I have a slice of veggie pizza (no extra cheese) and he has another slice of sausage pizza (with extra cheese, yuck). Thin crust. I get my taste of sausage, then fill up on the veggie slice. Report
Funny I had pizza yesterday and only had 2 smaller pieces. It had been over 6 months since I have any. Really tasted good. Report
Great advice, and I'll remember it the next time I've having pizza! Report
I make homemade pizza all the time and manage to stay within my goals. Any basic recipe works - and yeast isn't that hard to work with, especially if you do it in a food processor and get the knack of it by doing it regularly. I add anchovies, marinated spinach and mushrooms and sometimes peppers or something spicy. I use a good quality mozzarella or sometimes goats cheese or Gorgonzola. Yummy and only about 350-450 calories using a basic white or half whole wheat flour thin crust, 2 oz of mozzarella and a basic tomato sauce plus my toppings - for the whole pizza! I crave pizza but don't miss having take out or store bought ones at all. And it's very cheap! Report
We just make our own pizza now. Use to order pizza from a "take and bake" place and we would always order thin crust and veggies. What I got frustrated about was they don't have whole wheat crust so that's why we stopped ordering any pizza out. We can put it together and put all of our "likes" on top. I also see it as a special time with hubby in the kitchen and we get to enjoy our creation together. Report
Ain't no way walking burns more than cycling. I promise you that if you came cycling with me you'd burn plenty more than you would on a walk of the same time frame. But to the main point, I still enjoy pizza from time to time, just don't live on it. Everything in moderation. Report
I didn't perceive this blog as a "you gotta work your pizza off by extreme exercising" but rather as an eye-opener for BEFORE we eat the pizza. We may still make a poor choice, but awareness at least gets us thinking, and planting the seed for change is a start that very often results in positive change. Report
I don't think the blogger is actually insisting that you must work off your "bad choices". It's more of an eye-opener; for those that have incorporated exercise or active habits into their lifestyle, what would this particular choice be equivalent to? Just a way of seeing what certain foods "add up to" in your body. The author even goes into ways to make healthier options and substitutions after the "work it off" overview. That being said, pizza is one of the things I haven't been able to give up yet. Luckily I only have it once in awhile, so it's not doing too much damage. :) Just have to get myself back on making healthier choices the rest of the time, and not eating quite so much pizza when I do! Report
I don't care for this blog. I don't like the idea that you need to "work off" whatever it is you ate. That's a punishing experience that changes exercise from something for your body's health and makes it a chore because we were "bad."

Mistakes happen. You adjust your habits next time, and opt for one or two slices of a veggie pizza instead of half of a meat pizza.

Enjoy the things you love, and don't try to punish yourself because you ate "bad" food.

Very disappointed in this blog, Sparkpeople. Stick to the EXPERTS we've come to love and trust. Report
I too have largely given up pizza. :( Report
I will have some pizza and enjoy it guilt free. Cheese free (melty kind not Parmesan) pizza is not the same, shaming people about not obsessing about every single thing that they eat does not help promote a healthy lifestyle where adults can make their own decisions. Report
If I make it at home, I can shave off much of the fat and sodium. I buy a thin, whole wheat crust and use half of the cheese I used to. I have a recipe to make my own sauce, sans sodium. I also buy lean beef and sprinkle a little all over; it satisfies me without killing my numbers for the day. I know this takes time, but it allows me to still enjoy something I love without derailing my lifestyle. Report
I don't eat pizza any more.... Report
I have to be with 1/2 the cheese (or no cheese at all) does not sound appealing to me. If I'm going to have pizza, I'm going to enjoy it and not worry about "the consequences." I can be satisfied with one slice of cheese or veggie pizza. I don't eat it often and when I do, I don't worry about how to "work it off."

If I eat sensibly most of the time and I make exercise a regular part of my lifestyle, then one slice of pizza every now and then won't make or break me. I think there should be a little more focus on living a more balanced life...I mean, think about it...who is going to eat 830 calories of anything and then go walking for nearly 3 hours? Report
Come all DAY isn't as intense as jumping jacks for an hour--that's the problem with these blogs by non-experts. It's a great idea to show the 'cost' accrued by pizza binges, but a little more reality would be so nice. Report
When we order pizza (not very often) we get half the cheese. I have ordered entirely cheeseless pizza before (just sauce and veggies), and it was wonderful--but my kids weren't too happy about it! Report
I don't crave pizza often, but when I do, I make my own. From the market I can get a pita type bread for crust or pre made, roll out dough. With a small pot of tomato sauce with rosemary, oregano and mined garlic, and then top with veg, thin slices of fresh mozzarella. Depending on dough and how much cheese, I have made a 11" pizza that is a total of 400 calories!!!!! Report
I love walking and can easily walk 20K, but biking is harder for me, so I challenge that I can work off the pizza by walking less time than it takes to bike the calories off. Report
Love that "Cook for 4 hours and 38 minutes". Right, and then EAT all you cooked. Makes sense. LOL Report
Doesn't seem worth it after seeing what you have to do to negate the wonder I'm overweight=) Report
Maybe it's just cause of my history of disordered eating, but I really think looking at food from a perspective of what one must do to "atone" or "make up" for eating it is a dangerous and slippery slope.

In my experience, healthy eaters make choices based on what will do their body the most good - like, rather than asking "What do I have to do to make up for eating this pizza," one could ask, "is there something else on the menu or a substitution I can make that will help my body function better?"

Exercise is NOT punishment for eating, but this article treats it as such, and looking at food in light of what might compensate for it trains us to hold a skewed view of not only exercise, but food. This kind of thinking leads us to, in a way, FEAR certain foods because of the "punishment" we might have to endure for eating them. And that's just not good. Report
go meatless, whole grain dough, light sauce goes better. Report
I love and usually have mushrooms on pizza. Or a big bowl of black beans afterwards. Report
I could only WISH that I burned 830 calories from doing those things lol. Report
Choice: walk almost 3 hours or have pizza? I think I will forego pizza. Report